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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2006 > June
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 9, 2006


State Department Hosts Youth from 13 Countries for World Cup Sports Initiative: A Time to Make Friends

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes will welcome a delegation of 30 young soccer players participating in the World Cup Sports Initiative in Washington, DC, New York City, and Germany, June 10-24, 2006. The boys and girls, ages 13-18, represent 13 countries, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bolivia, China, Indonesia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Uganda and Uzbekistan.

The World Cup Sports Initiative, a partnership between the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, U.S. Soccer Federation, and Major League Soccer (MLS), reflects the theme of this year’s FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Cup in Germany, "a time to make friends", with an emphasis on building international understanding and respect between young people around the world. The participants will interact with American youth through visits to community sports programs and soccer efforts that serve young people with disabilities. The young athletes will attend a clinic hosted by the NCAA Men’s Champion University of Maryland, be special guests at a D.C. United (MLS) practice, and take in a Red Bulls (MLS) game in New York. They’ll also learn how the game of soccer is structured and played in the United States, including the important role of women as players, referees and coaches, at all levels. Under Secretary Hughes will lead the youth delegation to Nuremberg, Germany, for additional program activities and to attend the FIFA World Cup match between Ghana and the United States on June 22.

Managed and implemented by the Delphi International Program of World Learning, the World Cup Sports Initiative works at the grass roots level to help young players discover how success in athletics — with an emphasis on teamwork, respect, leadership, and conflict resolution — can translate into the development of life skills and academic achievement.

Media inquiries about the World Cup Sports Initiative or other programs managed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs,  may be directed to Nicole Deaner, 202-203-7613, or Catherine Stearns, 202-203-5107.

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